Changing lives in Wales.

Newid bywydau yng Nghymru.

LtL Cymru

LtL Cymru is the Welsh programme of LtL, the UK charity dedicated to enhancing outdoor learning and play for children.

LtL Cymru yw rhaglen Gymraeg LtL, yr elusen yn y DU sydd wedi ymrwymo i wella dysgu a chwarae yn yr awyr agored ar gyfer plant.

Do you want to find out more on our work?
Then get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for you.

What do we do?

We enrich the lives of children in Wales by increasing opportunities for healthy exercise, creative play, making friends, learning through doing and getting in touch with the natural world.

Key documents which support this are The Environment Act (Wales) 2016 and the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015 which together create modern legislation for improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales.

Outdoor learning contributes to all 7 Wellbeing Goals ( A Prosperous Wales, A Resilient Wales, A More equal Wales, A Healthier Wales, A Wales of Cohesive Communities, A Wales of Vibrant Culture & Thriving Welsh Language and A Globally Responsible Wales  ) as well as providing opportunities and activities that expand horizons within and beyond the traditional learning environment of the school classroom.

Wales in 2014 became the first country to legislate about children’s play which places a duty on Local Authorities to secure sufficient play opportunities for children in their areas, so far as reasonably practicable, having regard to their assessments.

Where possible we encourage young people to have a say in the way their grounds are used and improved. As a result they learn to create and look after something valuable; their self-esteem grows and their behaviour improves, along with their potential to learn and achieve.

We achieve this by:

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Working alongside schools and nurseries to help them implement practical development projects that transform their outdoor spaces and their children’s school experiences.

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Enabling schools and settings across Wales to develop and use their grounds creatively through training programmes, advisory visits, inspiring resources in print, film and online, membership support services and bespoke support of local authorities and other partners.

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Advocating the importance to children of quality outdoor spaces and experiences in their schools and nurseries.

Connecting to the Wales Curriculum 2022

In Wales, the ‘Four Purposes’, like the Four Capacities in Scotland, are at the heart of the curriculum, that all children and young people will be:

  • Ambitious, capable learners who are ready to learn throughout their lives
  • Enterprising, creative contributors who are ready to play a full part in life and work.
  • Ethical, informed citizens who are ready to be citizens of Wales and the world
  • Healthy, confident individuals who are ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society

These will be realised through 6 areas of learning experiences ( AoLE ): Expressive Arts, Humanities, Languages Literacy and Communication, Science and Technology, Health and Well-being and Mathematics and Numeracy. These are embedded with Numeracy, Literacy and Digital Competence. There are also wider skills alongside these core principles and areas which are ; Creativity; Critical Thinking and Problem Solving; Personal Effectiveness; Planning and Organisation.

“High quality outdoor learning will develop knowledge, skills and behaviours consistent with the desired outcomes of the key four purposes. Outdoor learning should be a natural, integrated and stimulating part of the curriculum.”

High Quality Outdoor Learning for Wales 
Outdoor Council for Wales

There is a clear connection through evidence that Outdoor Learning has an impact on individual development and performance. Having such experiences on a regular basis will help enhance the delivery of many aspects of the curriculum in Wales.

To a large extent just being outdoors has huge benefits to individual’s health and wellbeing.

In the Wales Curriculum 2022 ‘developing cross-cutting themes for designing your curriculum’ it is mentioned that to develop an authentic sense of cynefin, builds a knowledge of different cultures and histories, allowing to develop a strong sense of individual identity and understanding how this is connected to and shaped by wider influences.

“Cynefin – the place where we feel we belong, where people and landscape around us are familiar, and sights and sounds are reassuringly recognisable. Though often translated as ‘habitat’, cynefin is not just a place in a physical or geographical sense: it is the historic, cultural and social place which has shaped and continues to shape the community which inhabits it.”

Outdoor Learning can play a significant part in achieving this and with individual and cluster groups of schools formatting their approaches to delivering the curriculum there is an opportunity for Outdoor Learning to be integrated and to enhance the whole curriculum not just early years.

It is mentioned within the AoLE of Health and Wellbeing specific considerations – Range of experiences and activities that can support learners to enjoy lifelong physical activity and care for themselves and others – that  “enjoyment of activities outdoors will influence learners’ mental health and emotional well-being.”

Foundation Phase framework 2015 – “Foundation Phase environment should promote discovery and independence with a greater emphasis on using the outdoor environment as a resource for children’s learning. What has been learnt from the Foundation Phase pilot settings/schools is that the more practitioners see their children learning outdoors, the more they want to be outdoors with them.”

The difference we make

Our surveys of schools that have improved their grounds demonstrate the benefits:

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of teachers said it resulted in more creative learning and environmental awareness
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said that healthy active play had increased
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observed improved attitudes to learning
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said behaviour had improved
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reported reduced bullying
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reported improved social interaction

Our achievements

Thousands of children across Wales have been encouraged and supported to get outdoors to play and learn as a result of LtL Cymru’s work. Working alongside the Welsh Assembly Government, Countryside Council for Wales and other partners we have:

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Learning Leaders

Led on embedding outdoor learning and play in the Foundation Phase in Wales. Through creation of the Outdoor Learning Module and capacity building with FP Training Support Officers, we have been instrumental in the encouragement of good practice in outdoor play and learning across the Welsh early years sector.

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Encouraging Improvement

Produced a comprehensive guide “First steps outdoors” to help early years settings develop the quality of their outdoor spaces for learning and play. Hard copies of the 88 page bi-lingual publication have been distributed to 3,000 primary and early years settings throughout Wales. A downloadable version is available to Welsh early years settings here. The Welsh Government has produced a further supporting resource “Further steps outdoors”. This follow up resource is available here.

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Training Giants

Trained thousands of early years practitioners, teachers and education advisors across Wales through high quality training events at national and regional levels. Our training events are highly rated by participants who value the inspiring and practical nature of our training. Our training modules can be adapted for different settings and situations.

Find out more about our training opportunities here.

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Inspection Quality

Equipped Estyn inspectors with the know-how to evaluate the quality of outdoor learning and play.

Estyn recognises that ‘High performing schools share a passion and vision for making sure that pupils have plenty of opportunities to be physically active and learn outdoors. They believe that this leads to high levels of engagement and involvement from the pupils, which in turn leads to high standards. Teachers find imaginative ways for pupils to develop and apply their mathematical skills across the curriculum through active learning in the outdoors’.

Estyn. Active and Experiential Learning (2017). Page 28

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Raising Awareness

Raised the profile of outdoor learning and play through the Welsh educational press.

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Giving Advice

Developed an advisory visit service for schools and settings across Wales, giving them access to on-the-ground advice and support to improve their outdoor spaces for learning and play.

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Supporting Schools

Provided support to hundreds of schools and settings across Wales through our membership support programme. In addition to support and advice by phone and email, we provide bimonthly mailings full of inspirational and practical applications and online access to a comprehensive resource bank – find out more about membership.

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Contributing to Research

Contributed significantly to the Outdoor Learning Handbook, published by the Welsh Assembly Government, providing practitioners with practical support on integrating outdoor learning into their teaching.

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Innovative Thinking

Ensured that the quality of outdoor spaces for learning and play is integral to the 21st Century schools programme of school building and refurbishment. We supported the all-Wales survey of schools to ensure that the condition and suitability of school grounds was a fundamental part of the survey (including training the surveyors and developing a school grounds audit tool) that will be used to inform the capital programme priorities.

Combining forces

At the same time as all of the above, we have also developed effective partnerships with a wide range of organisations including:

Keep in the know

If you’d like to get involved or want to stay up to date with our projects, sign up to our free newsletter today.

Contact Us

Please fill in the form below and someone from the LTL team will be in touch as soon as possible.

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